Derrick Rose - Bulls - Blog

Chicago has an incredibly rich history on the hardwood. For generations, the ball played in high school gyms around this city has been as good as anywhere in the country, producing an unmatched list of players that eventually matriculated to success in the NBA. And countless others that - let's face it - would beat you pretty soundly in a game of H-O-R-S-E.

The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament is coming to Chicago (March 14-17). To celebrate this longstand tradition of basketball excellence, we've rather poetically put together a list of Chicago's greatest all-time basketball players.

Disclaimer: While you might expect to see Michael Jordan on this list, he is not. He grew up in North Carolina and, as synonymous as MJ is with the 3-1-2, we can't claim his roots. Unfortunately. Kevin Garnett, while a graduate of Farragut Academy, only lived in Chicago for a little over a year. Again, we'd like to claim him, but cannot.

With that out of the way, we proudly present: Homegrown Talent: Chicago's All-Time Greatest Basketball Players.

Mark Aguirre

High School: Westinghouse
College: DePaul
Career Highlights: 3x NBA all-star, 2x NBA champion
Aguirre was voted both the AP and Naismith Player of the Year his final season at DePaul (1979-80) and was the first overall selection in the 1980 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. He was a key member of the "Bad Boy" back-to-back NBA champion Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990.

Nick Anderson

High School: Simeon Career Academy
College:
University of Illinois
Career highlights:
Key member of the "Flyin' Illini" Final Four team
Anderson was named Mr. Basketball in 1986 and led the University of Illinois to the Final Four in 1989. He was the No. 11 overall pick by the Orlando Magic (the first pick in that franchise's history) in 1989. Anderson scored a team-record 50 points for the Magic in April 1993, and played in the 1995 NBA Finals.

Dee Brown

High School: Proviso East
College:
University of Illinois
Career Highlights:
2005 Big Ten Player of the Year
Brown was named Mr. Basketball in Illinois and won the Gatorade Player of the Year award in 2002. At Illinois, he was named an All-American twice and led the Fighting Illini to the 2005 NCAA Championship Game.

Shannon Brown

High School: Proviso East
College:
Michigan State University
Career Highlights:
2x NBA champion
Shannon, no relation to Dee, was named Mr. Basketball in Illinois in 2003 and also starred at a Big Ten university, taking his talents to East Lansing. After three seasons with Michigan State, Brown was selected in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was a member of the 2009 and 2010 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Quinn Buckner

High School: Thornridge
College:
Indiana University
Career Highlights:
NCAA and NBA champion, Olympic gold medal
Buckner led Thornridge to back-to-back state championships before matriculating to Indiana, where he was a central figure on arguably the finest class of players in IU history. The Hoosiers advanced to the Final Four in his freshman year, losing to UCLA, before posting back-to-back undefeated regular seasons. The 1975-76 Hoosier squad remains the last team to complete an undefeated season with a championship. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning team in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Buckner was the seventh overall pick in the 1976 NBA Draft, and won an NBA championship with Boston in 1984.

Maurice Cheeks

High School: Du Sable
College:
West Texas A&M
Career Highlights:
4x NBA All-Star, 1983 NBA Champion
Cheeks was one of the premier point guards in the NBA in the 1980s, named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times and played in four NBA All-Star. He was a member of the 1983 NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers. Cheeks still ranks 11th all-time in assists and fifth all-time in steals in NBA history. Since retiring, he has served as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers and the 76ers.

Terry Cummings

High School: Carver
College:
DePaul
Career Highlights:
2x NBA All-Star, 1983 NBA Rookie of the Year
After a stellar career at DePaul that included being named a first-team NCAA All-American in 1982, Cummings was the second overall pick by the San Diego Clippers in 1982. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after the 1982-83 season, and would play in the 1985 and 1989 NBA All-Star Games.

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Eddy Curry

High School: Thornwood
College:
N/A
Career Highlights:
2012 NBA Champion
After being named Mr. Basketball in Illinois at the conclusion of his prep career at Thornwood, Curry opted to skip college and go pro. He was selected with the fourth overall pick by his hometown Chicago Bulls in the 2001 NBA Draft. In 2012, he was a member of the NBA champion Miami Heat.

Anthony Davis

High School: Perspectives Charter School
College:
University of Kentucky
Career Highlights:
2011-12 NCAA Player of the Year (AP, Naismith, John Wooden Award), Final Four M.O.P.
Davis' career is only beginning, but his one year at Kentucky is considered one of the best freshman seasons in NCAA history. He swept the postseason awards after the Wildcats won the National Championship, winning Final Four Most Outstanding Player and all major Player of the Year Awards. The New Orleans Hornets made him the number one overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Melvin Ely

High School: Thornton
College:
Fresno State
Career Highlights:
2x WAC Player of the year, 2007 NBA Champion
Ely was the center on the nationally-ranked Thornton team that also included future NFL players at point guard (Randle-El) and power forward (Harris). After an exceptional career at Fresno State, he was selected by the LA Clippers with the twelfth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. Late in the 2006-07 season, he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs, with whom he won an NBA Championship that spring.

Michael Finley

High School: Proviso East
College:
University of Wisconsin
Career Highlights:
2007 NBA Champion, two-time NBA All-Star
Finley was a member of the famous "Three Amigos" team at Proviso East with future NBA players Donnie Boyce and Sherrell Ford. When he left the Badgers, he was the all-time leading scorer in Wisconsin basketball history (he held the mark for 11 years until another Chicagoan, Alando Tucker, passed him on the list). After playing in two NBA All-Star Games while with the Dallas Mavericks, he finally won an NBA championship with the Spurs in 2007.

Rickey Green

High School: Hirsch Metro
College:
University of Michigan
Career Highlights:
NCAA All-American, NBA All-Star
Green was named a first-team All-American at Michigan in 1977, and was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors that summer. He played 12 years in the NBA and was voted to the 1984 NBA All-Star Game. Green was credited with scoring the five millionth point in NBA history in 1982. The University of Michigan honored Green with a place in their Athletic Hall of Honor in 1994.

Rashard Griffith

High School: King
College:
University of Wisconsin
Career Highlights:
1993 Illinois Mr. Basketball
Griffith was half of the "Twin Towers" at King in the early 1990s, starring next to Thomas Hamilton. He was considered among the best prep centers in the country, and opted to play at Wisconsin. He left Wisconsin after two years and enjoyed a successful career in Europe.

Tim Hardaway

High School: Carver
College:
University of Texas at El Paso
Career Highlights:
5x NBA All-Star
Hardaway was selected with the No. 14 overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors and was the heart of their "Run TMC" teams (with Mitch Richmond and Chris Webber) of the early 1990s. Hardaway created the "killer crossover" and was among the most lethal guards in the NBA over his 13-year career. He was named first team All-NBA in 1997 and his career average of 8.2 assists per game is the twelfth best mark in NBA history.

Hersey Hawkins

High School: Westinghouse
College:
Bradley
Career Highlights:
1988 NCAA AP Player of the Year, 1991 NBA All-Star
Hawkins played four years at Bradley University, where he won back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Awards and averaged an NCAA Division I-leading 36.3 points per game his senior year. He was named the AP Player of the Year and won a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics. The LA Clippers selected Hawkins sixth overall in the 1988 NBA Draft, but his rights were immediately traded to the 76ers. He represented Philadelphia in the 1991 All-Star Game

Jeff Hornacek

High School: Lyons Township
College:
Iowa State University
Career Highlights:
1992 NBA All-Star
Hornacek starred at suburban Lyons Township before playing at Iowa State. His number was retired by Iowa State, where he is still the all-time leader in assists and steals. During his NBA career, Hornacek played in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game and won the three-point contest twice. He played in two NBA Finals with the Utah Jazz (losing both times to Michael Jordan's Bulls), and the Jazz retired his number as well.

Juwan Howard

High School: Chicago Vocational
College:
University of Michigan
Career Highlights:
2012 NBA Champion, 1996 NBA All-Star
Howard was a member of the famous "Fab Five" teams at Michigan that played in the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Championship Games. He was named an All-American in 1994 before taking his talents to the NBA; that summer, the Washington Bullets made Howard the fifth overall pick in the NBA Draft. "Only" 16 years after he appeared in his only NBA All-Star Game, Howard finally won an NBA Championship in 2012 with the Miami Heat.

Eddie Johnson

High School: Westinghouse
College:
University of Illinois
Career Highlights:
1989 NBA Sixth Man of the Year
Johnson was named to the "Illini Men's Basketball All-Century Team" in 2004, and went on to play 17 seasons in the NBA. His 19,202 career points still rank among the top-50 totals in NBA history.

Johnny "Red" Kerr

High School: Tilden
College:
University of Illinois
Career Highlights:
1955 NBA Champion, 3x NBA All-Star, 1967 NBA Coach of the Year
Around Chicago - indeed, the state of Illinois - there aren't many men in and around the game of basketball that are loved as universally as Johnny "Red" Kerry. He led Tilden to the 1950 Chicago Pubic League championship, helped the Fighting Illini advance to the Final Four in 1952, and, in his rookie season, won an NBA championship with the Syracuse Nationals in 1955. Kerr was the first coach in the history of the Chicago Bulls (1966-67), and was a joy to listen to as a broadcaster for decades. In 2009, Kerr received the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award.

Marcus Liberty

High School: King
College:
University of Illinois
Career Highlights:
McDonalds All-America, Parade Player of the Year
In 1987, Parade named Liberty the high school Player of the Year and McDonalds named him an All-American after he had led King to the 1986 state championship and a runner-up finish in 1987; Liberty set a state record with 143 points in the 1987 tournament. At Illinois, Liberty was a key member of the "Flyin' Illini" Final Four team in 1988-89.

Corey Maggette

High School: Fenwick
College:
Duke University
Career Highlights:
McDonalds All-America
Maggette was an All-American at Fenwick before spending only one year with the Duke Blue Devils. He left Duke early and was the No. 13 overall selection in the 1999 NBA Draft. He competed in the 2001 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

George Mikan

High School: Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary
College: DePaul
Career Highlights: Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1959, five-time NBA Champion
Mikan was one of the first great big men in the NBA, and his incredible list of accolades attests to his dominance. He won five titles with the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1950s, was a four-time NBA All-Star (including the All-Star Game MVP in 1953), was named first team All-NBA six times, led the NBA in scoring three times and led the league in rebounding once. Mikan was so dominant that the NBA had to make rules changes because of him, including a wider lane and introducing a shot clock. He was a founder and commissioner of the ABA, and helped bring the NBA back to Minnesota when the Timberwolves franchise was born.

Quentin Richardson

High School: Whitney Young
College: DePaul
Career Highlights: Conference USA Player of the Year, 2005 NBA Three Point Shootout champion
Richardson led Whitney Young to a state championship and was named a McDonalds All-American before staying home in Chicago to play at DePaul. In his first year with the Blue Demons, Richardson was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year. After his sophomore year, Richardson was the No. 18 overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the LA Clippers. He won the 2005 NBA Three Point Shootout championship.

Doc Rivers

High School: Proviso East
College: Marquette
Career Highlights: NBA All-Star, NBA Coach of the Year, 2008 NBA Champion (coach)
Rivers was a McDonalds All-American at Proviso East in 1980 before playing at Marquette. During his collegiate career, Rivers was named the MVP of the FIBA World Championship in 1982. During his playing career, Rivers was an All-Star in 1988 and finished in the top five in the league in assists twice. As a coach, he won the NBA Coach of the Year while with the Orlando Magic in 2000, and won an NBA championship as coach of the Boston Celtics in 2008.

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Derrick Rose

High School: Simeon Career Academy
College: Memphis
Career Highlights: 2009 NBA Rookie of the Year, 2011 NBA MVP, 3x NBA All-Star
Rose was the top point guard in the country coming out of Simeon, and led Memphis to the NCAA Championship Game in his only collegiate season. When the Chicago Bulls won the 2008 NBA Draft Lottery, there was no question who would be the top overall pick. Rose won the 2009 NBA Rookie of the year and has played in three All-Star Games. In 2011, he won the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award.

Cazzie Russell

High School: Carver
College: University of Michigan
Career Highlights: 1970 NBA Champion, 1972 NBA All-Star, U. of Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame
Russell was a two-time NCAA All-American at the University of Michigan and was named the Player of the Year in 1966 before the New York Knicks made him the first overall pick in that summer's NBA Draft. He played 12 seasons in the NBA, winning an NBA championship in 1970 and playing in the 1972 All-Star Game.

Bobby Simmons

High School: Simeon Career Academy
College: DePaul
Career Highlights: 2005 NBA Most Improved Player
Simmons joined Quentin Richardson at DePaul and played three strong seasons for the Blue Demons, averaging 16.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in his junior (and final) season. In his fourth season in the NBA he started a career-high 74 games for the LA Clippers and his point-per-game average more than doubled to 16.4, earning him the league's Most Improved Player Award for the 2004-05 season.

Deon Thomas

High School: Simeon Career Academy
College: University of Illinois
Career Highlights: 1989 Illinois Mr. Basketball, Illini All-Century Team
Thomas was a McDonalds All-American and Illinois Mr. Basketball in 1989. He went on to have one of the finest careers in the history of the Fighting Illini, averaging 18 points per game over his four-year career. Thomas left as the all-time leading scorer in U. of I history, and is the only men's basketball player in the school's history to score over 2,000 points. In 2004, he was named to the Illini All-Century Team.

Isiah Thomas

High School: St. Joseph
College: Indiana University
Career Highlights: 2x NBA champion, 12x NBA All-Star, NCAA Champion
One of the most decorated point guards of the last 40 years, Thomas led the Hoosiers to the 1981 National Championship and was named the Most Outstanding Player of that year's Final Four before going pro. The Detroit Pistons made him the second overall pick in the 1981 NBA Draft. He was the leader of Detroit's back-to-back NBA championship teams in 1989 and 1990 and was named the Finals MVP in 1990. After 12 All-Star Games in 13 seasons, Thomas had his number retired by the Pistons and entered the Hall of Fame.

Evan Turner

High School: St. Joseph
College: Ohio State University
Career Highlights: Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, NCAA Player of the Year
Turner, like Isiah Thomas, graduated from St. Joseph High School in suburban Westchester and took his talents to Ohio State. In 2010, he was named the AP, Naismith and Wooden NCAA National Player of the Year, as well as the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year. He was the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Dwyane Wade

High School: Richards
College: Marquette
Career Highlights: 2x NBA champion, 9x NBA All-Star, NBA Finals MVP
In 2002-03, Wade led Marquette to their first Final Four berth since 1977, and earned the Conference USA Player of the Year Award. The Miami Heat selected him with the fifth overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft, and he has built the finest resume in that franchise's history since. He is the Heat's all-time leading scorer, was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP, the 2010 NBA All-Star Game MVP and won the 2009 NBA scoring title. He is a nine-time NBA All-Star and, in 2006, was named the Sportsman of the Year by both the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.

Antoine Walker

High School: Mount Carmel
College: Kentucky
Career Highlights: 2006 NBA Champion, 3x NBA All-Star
Walker played with Donovan McNabb at Mount Carmel before heading to play on Rick Pitino's Wildcats at Kentucky. In 1996, Walker led UK to the NCAA Championship before turning pro. He was the sixth overall pick in the 1996 Draft by the Boston Celtics, with whom he played for seven years and appeared in three NBA All-Star Games. In 2006 he was a member of the NBA Champion Miami Heat.

Darrell Walker

High School: Corliss
College: Arkansas
Career Highlights: 1993 NBA Champion, 1984 NBA All-Rookie team
In three years at Arkansas, Walker averaged nearly 15 points per game before the New York Knicks made him the No. 12 overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft. He played nine NBA seasons and won a championship ring as a member of the 1992-93 Chicago Bulls.

Brian Wardle

High School: Hinsdale Central
College: Marquette
Career Highlights:
Wardle led suburban Hinsdale Central to two down-state appearances before taking his talents to Marquette. When he graduated in 2001, Wardle ranked third all-time in Marquette history in scoring after averaging 14.4 points per game in 117 contests. He was named first-team All Conference USA in 2001. His 1,690 career points still ranks No. 15 in Conference USA history. On April 15, 2010, Wardle was named the head men's basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. At the time, he was the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and commenters and do not reflect the views of Choose Chicago.

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